Remember the Prisoners

As Believers we have received every spiritual blessing through Messiah Yeshua, including, but not limited to adoption into the family of God and eternal life. (Eph. 3:1-6) Parents give Blessings to their children and we grant favor to those we love, esteem, and deem worthy. Also, we are to be like God, who loves those who do not yet love Him. (Luke 6: 31-36) A demonstration of this character of God, mercy, is when we reach out to prisoners. Yeshua’s ministry specifically included proclaiming freedom to prisoners. (Luke 4:18) Yeshua’s judgment included whether people cared for prisoners; “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” (Matthew 25:36) The writer to the Hebrews said, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3) 

These admonitions are for our benefit and we will not fail to lose any favor or blessing given to prisoners. This is so important that a parallel is made with the golden rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) We may think of prisoners in America as deserving a just sentence for crimes committed, but in the world and Biblical record, our fellow Believers have been unjustly imprisoned simply for their Faith in God. This is particularly true under evil regimes such as Communism and Paganism, but it will become more common and widespread as we get closer to the end days. (2 Tim. 3:12; John 16:2; Mark 13: 9-11; Matt. 24:8-9; Rev. 2:10) 

An adage has developed for prisoners who come to faith – “Jailhouse Religion”. I have confirmed a kernel of truth in this saying as many are open to and accept the Good News of Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) when incarcerated. A most famous example is Chuck Colson, an attorney for Nixon during Watergate, who went to prison, accepted Yeshua, became an author and started an effective prison ministry. 

Therefore, there are more reasons, other than mercy, to remember the prisoners. 

One may ask how can this be realized?  Of course prayer is one effective means, but many churches have groups that visit prisons and these groups will testify to the mighty power of God at work therein. Another, very relevant opportunity for those like us who read and write is to become involved with a prison ministry that supports and encourages prisoners. Crossroad Bible Institute is one I know personally that provides bible studies to prisoners and uses volunteers to review/evaluate completed lessons and send a letter of encouragement to each in reply. You might read Chuck Colson’s book, Born Again, as a motivation. Simply ask God to lead you to support prisoners and respond to any Holy Spirit prompting. The Spiritual Blessing you receive will be manifest in this life, but accrue into eternity. Yeshua’s load is easy and His burden light, if you are called to do no more than utter one sincere prayer in the name of Yeshua for the prisoners, your reward will not be lost.